Parenthood, Family Friendly Workplaces, and the Gender Gaps in Early Work Careers

81 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2018

See all articles by V. Joseph Hotz

V. Joseph Hotz

Duke University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Per Johansson

IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation; Uppsala University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Arizo Karimi

Uppsala University; IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation

Date Written: June 15, 2018

Abstract

We consider the role that workplace attributes play in accounting for the divergence in the careers of women and men, with the onset of parenthood. We exploit matched employer-employee data from Sweden to characterize a model-based index of workplace “family friendliness” and analyze the effect of more family friendly workplaces on the career gaps between mothers and fathers. We find that exogenously moving mothers to more family friendly workplaces would raise their wages and labor income. In contrast, such moves would entail reductions in the same outcomes for fathers, resulting in sizeable improvements in the parental gender gap in wages and income. At the same time, working in more family friendly workplaces would not reduce the penalty to wage rates earned by women with their transition to motherhood (i.e., the motherhood penalty), but it would reduce the motherhood penalty to earned income by facilitating mothers working more hours. Furthermore, the benefits of family friendly workplaces appear to come at the expense of the occupational skill progression of mothers relative to non-mothers, impeding mothers’ ability to climb career ladders over the longer run. Finally, using auxiliary data based on a survey, we find that jobs – as defined by our index – are more substitutable for one another in family friendly workplaces. This substitutability of workers in more family friendly workplaces appears to be the mechanism that facilitates mothers’ ability to balance work and family responsibilities in such workplaces. At the same time, it also may partially explain our finding that more family friendly workplaces slow mothers’ occupational skill-progression.

Keywords: Gender gaps, parenthood, family friendly workplaces

JEL Classification: J13, J16, J24, J31, J62

Suggested Citation

Hotz, V. Joseph and Johansson, Per and Karimi, Arizo, Parenthood, Family Friendly Workplaces, and the Gender Gaps in Early Work Careers (June 15, 2018). Economic Research Initiatives at Duke (ERID) Working Paper No. 270, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3236426 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3236426

V. Joseph Hotz (Contact Author)

Duke University ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.duke.edu/~vjh3

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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Germany

Per Johansson

IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation ( email )

Box 513
751 20 Uppsala
Sweden
+ 46 18 471 70 86 (Phone)
+ 46 18 471 70 71 (Fax)

Uppsala University - Department of Economics ( email )

Uppsala, 751 20
Sweden

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Arizo Karimi

Uppsala University ( email )

Box 513
Uppsala, 751 20
Sweden

IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation ( email )

Box 513
751 20 Uppsala
Sweden

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